Category Archives: Rotavirus

RASFF Alert – Rotavirus – Oysters


Rotavirus in oysters from France in the Netherlands

RASFF Alert – Rotavirus – Oysters


Rotavirus in oysters from France in the Netherlands

Research – France – Acute gastroenteritis: results of winter surveillance 2019-2020

Sante Publique

Food Borne Illness - Norovirus -CDC Photo

Public Health France publishes the 2019-2020 annual winter surveillance report for acute gastroenteritis in mainland France, marked by two major events and in particular a historic drop in AGEs never observed over the past 10 years. 

Acute winter gastroenteritis (AGE) is mainly of viral origin, with a dominant circulation of noroviruses and rotaviruses. Noroviruses are responsible for AGE in people of all ages, while rotaviruses mainly affect children under 5 years of age. A winter resurgence of cases is observed each year, in France, as in Europe, generating an increase in medical consultations for AGE usually between December and April. A peak is often observed during the first two weeks of January. 

Fluctuating activity for GEA over the 2019-2020 winter season

A significant peak observed in connection with an episode of collective food poisoning in several metropolitan areas

As in the two previous seasons, an increase in the number of AGE cases was observed at the start of the winter season, followed by a sharp increase in visits to hospital emergencies and general medicine at the end of December 2019 – beginning of January 2020, higher than the peaks of the 7 previous seasons in week 01-2020, and reaching 3.1% of total activity in hospital emergencies.

This upsurge in the number of AGE cases coincided with a significant and unusual occurrence of collective food poisoning that impacted several metropolitan areas in connection with the consumption of contaminated oysters that occurred in 2019* during the end-of-year celebrations. 

A sharp decrease in activity to historically low levels, most likely related to the measures put in place during the Covid-19 pandemic

Following the first confinement (March-April 2020) introduced as part of the Covid-19 pandemic , very low levels of activity for GEA were recorded from March and April 2020 in hospital emergencies and in general medicine (Sentinels Network and SOS Médecins).

Indeed, the proportion of emergency visits for gastroenteritis fell sharply at the start of 2020 to reach historically low levels and then stabilized at 0.5% of activity from April 2020 . According to data from the Sentinel Network, the 2019-2020 winter season was characterized by the lowest cumulative incidence rate of cases of acute diarrhea seen in general medicine consultations over the last 10 seasons .

This historic decrease in epidemic activity for acute gastroenteritis in France is most likely related to the measures introduced in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic (confinement, physical distancing, reinforcement of hand hygiene). Such levels have not been observed over 10 years of retrospective data for all monitoring indicators.

Key points 2019 – 2020 regarding acute gastroenteritis 

The analysis period corresponds to the winter monitoring period, from November 18, 2019 to April 13, 2020. 

  • 96,713 hospital emergency visits , i.e. 1.6% of emergency visits. 44.4% of visits for acute gastroenteritis concerned children aged under 5 years.
  • 144,499 SOS Médecins consultations for acute gastroenteritis, i.e. 8.7% of total consultations.
  • Cumulative incidence rate at the Sentinel Network: 
    • 2,963 cases per 100,000 inhabitants of all ages
    • 6,605 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, in children under 5 , the most affected population during this period.
  • Predominance of norovirus genotype GII.4 2012[P16], followed by genotype GII.17[P17].
  • Significant peak of activity observed at the end of December 2019-beginning of January 2020 , concomitant with a significant upsurge in collective food poisoning linked to the consumption of oysters
  • Following the first containment introduced as part of the Covid-19 pandemic, very low levels of activity were recorded from week 13-2020 

Australia – Western Australia records alarming spike in gastro cases – Norovirus – Rotavirus

Western Australia has recorded an alarming surge in gastro cases over the summer, with the spread of rotavirus “spiking dramatically” in the latter half of 2021.

544 cases of rotavirus were detected in the Perth metro area, compared to 175 the year before. Group chair of the WA branch of the Australian Medical Association, Simon Torvaldson, says the outbreak could have spread much further than case numbers suggest.

A total of 163 rotavirus cases were recorded in November alone, dwarfing the 18 detected cases for the same month in 2020.

Norovirus was the most common cause of viral gastroenteritis, with symptoms including a quick onset of nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea that lasts 2-3 days.

Other symptoms include fever, abdominal pain, headaches and muscle aches.

“A lot of people with milder gastro will simply tough it out without seeing a doctor,” he told ABC Radio.

“And to be honest, other than helping you with the symptoms and making sure you stay as hydrated as possible, there is little that doctors can do.”

The new data came after another noted spike in viral gastroenteritis cases in Victorian childcare centres in late 2021.

Cases surged over the eight-month period leading up to October, with the number of outbreaks climbing to more than three times higher than the average for the same period in past years.

Data obtained by NCA NewsWire shows there have been 554 outbreaks in childcare centres from January 1 this year up until August 23.

Slovakia – Report on zoonoses, foodborne diseases and waterborne diseases in the Slovak Republic in 2020



The protection of human and animal health can only be achieved through the active cooperation of experts in the field of control and research in the human and veterinary field. The report on zoonoses, foodborne diseases and waterborne diseases in the Slovak Republic for 2020 contains data from official inspections carried out in the field of agriculture and health care, as well as from research institutes and universities. The preparation of the report was coordinated by the National Contact Point for Scientific and Technical Cooperation with the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA EFSA), which is established at the Department of Food Safety and Nutrition of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development of the Slovak Republic (MPRV SR).

The report serves as a basis for the EFSA NCB and scientific experts to set priorities and own national food safety risk assessments. At the same time, the report serves as one of the bases for the Community risk assessment carried out by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). Scientific risk assessment is the basis for risk management. The report describes the situation in  35 zoonotic agents, 5 foodborne diseases (ie foodborne diseases) without zoonotic potential and 4 waterborne pathogens. Of the 44 agents monitored, 23 are bacterial, 10 parasitic, 10 viral and prion.

It presents the summary results of examinations and tests performed in 2020 in the Slovak Republic and the evaluation of the national epidemiological situation in humans and animals with a focus on trends and sources of zoonotic and foodborne diseases.

The report presents the summary results of examinations and tests carried out in 2020 and an assessment of the national epidemiological situation in humans and animals , focusing on trends and sources of zoonotic and foodborne diseases . The number of monitored authors, cooperating organizations and experts is growing every year. A wide team of more than 70 experts from 24 scientific and control organizations in the Slovak Republic took part in its elaboration .

In 2020, 17,067 human diseases caused by the study agents were reported, with 29.1% related to campylobacteriosis, 20.9% to Clostridium dificille and 20.4% to salmonellosis. Rotavirus 11.6%, Norwalk virus 5.1%, Borrelia burgdorferi sl 5.6% and  Escherichia coli 1.2% also contributed to a higher percentage of diseases.

Seven of the study agents caused 380 human epidemics, of which 56.6% were salmonellosis, 23.2% were campylobacteriosis and 12.6% of epidemics were caused by rotavirus. Norwalk virus accounted for 5.5%, tick-borne encephalitis virus 1.3%, shigella and 0.5% and yersinia 0.3%.  

35,957 food samples were examined for the presence of 15 pathogens with a positive finding in 2.2% of samples. Higher percentages of positive findings were in  Yersinia spp. 48.1%, Enterococcus spp. 46.3% and  Vibrio spp. 31.8%.

The presence of 30 pathogens was monitored in 2,483,239 samples originating from livestock and wild animals, pets and zoos taken as part of official control, preventive monitoring, research, as well as from sick or dead animals. Positive findings accounted for 0.1% of samples. Higher percentages of positive findings were recorded for  Aeromonas spp. 59.3%, Clostridium spp. 55.4%, Francisella tularensis 50.4%, Babesia spp. 41.1%, Dirofilaria spp. 34.8%, Campylobacter spp. 18.3%, Yersinia spp. 18.3%, Staphylococcus aureus 18.1%, hepatitis E virus 14.1%, Listeria monocytogenes  11.8%, Toxocara spp. 10.5%.

Feed – 385 samples were examined for the presence of Salmonella spp. (1.5% positive samples), Escherichia coli (60.0% positive samples) and Clostridium spp.

(1.7% positive samples).

35,746 water samples were examined for the presence of 9 agents, of which 7.4% were positive, of which Legionella spp. 47.1% and Vibrio spp. 39.5%.

44,633 samples from the environment were examined for the presence of 8 pathogens, of which 2.3% were positive, of which Legionella spp. 36.0%, Vibrio spp. 6.8%,  E.coli 3.6% and  Enterococcus spp. 2.6%.

The report also includes the results of examinations for the resistance of microorganisms to antimicrobials, which has a growing trend worldwide and poses a real danger in the treatment of infections. Microbial resistance was monitored in Salmonella spp., E. coli , Campylobacter spp., Staphylococcus aureus and  Enterococcus spp.

The comprehensive report, which will be published as a publication, has a length of more than 130 pages, will be published in printed form, as a publication with an assigned ISBN. Summaries of individual chapters will be translated into English and published in an electronic version as a publication with an assigned ISBN.

See the appendices for more information.

Attachments (downloadable documents)


USA – Famous Anthony’s owners filing for bankruptcy in wake of Hepatitis A outbreak

Food Safety News

Owners of a Roanoke, VA, restaurant chain have closed one location and are filing bankruptcy for two others in relation to a deadly hepatitis A outbreak that swept through the community this past fall.

At least four people have died, more than 50 were sickened and 36 people were hospitalized in the outbreak associated with an infected employee who worked at three Famous Anthony’s locations. An infected person can transmit the virus to others up to two weeks before and one week after symptoms appear. 

Attorney Andrew Goldstein said the Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing allows the company to reorganize and remain open. In 90 days, the company owners will submit a plan outlining a payment schedule for the people who have claims against their restaurants.

UK – Estimating deaths from foodborne disease in the UK for 11 key pathogens



To estimate the number of deaths from foodborne disease in the UK from 11 key pathogens.


Four different models were developed using data from a range of sources. These included enhanced surveillance, outbreaks, death certificates and hospital episode statistics data. For each model, median estimates were produced with 95% credible intervals (CrI). The results from the different models were compared.


The estimates for foodborne deaths for each pathogen from the different models were consistent, with CrIs largely overlapping. Based on the preferred model for each pathogen, foodborne norovirus is estimated to cause 56 deaths per year (95% CrI 32 to 92), foodborne Salmonella 33 deaths (95% CrI 7 to 159), foodborne Listeria monocytogenes 26 deaths (95% CrI 24 to 28), foodborne Clostridium perfringens 25 deaths (95% CrI 1 to 163) and foodborne Campylobacter 21 deaths (95% CrI 8 to 47). The considerable overlap in the CrIs means it is not possible to make any firm conclusions on ranking. Most of these deaths occur in those aged over 75 years. Foodborne deaths from ShigellaCryptosporidiumGiardia, adenovirus, astrovirus and rotavirus are all rare.


We estimate that there are 180 deaths per year in the UK (95% CrI 113 to 359) caused by foodborne disease based on these 11 pathogens. While this is a small fraction of the estimated 2.4 million cases of foodborne illness per year it still illustrates the potential severity of these illnesses demonstrating the importance in continuing efforts to reduce these infections.

Keywords: infectious disease, CampylobacterSalmonella

Summary box

What is already known about this subject?

  • Foodborne disease is a common illness in the UK.

  • Previous research has estimated that there are 566 000 cases, 74 000 general practitioner presentations and 7600 hospital admissions related to foodborne disease from 13 known pathogens in UK; no estimate was made for deaths.

  • Campylobacter and norovirus are the most common foodborne pathogens in the UK.

  • Other common foodborne pathogens include Clostridium perfringens and Salmonella.

What are the new findings?

  • This study provides updated estimates of deaths for each of the 11 key foodborne pathogens considered; in total, these 11 pathogens cause 180 deaths per year in the UK (95% credible interval (CrI) 113 to 359).

  • Among them, Campylobacter, C. perfringens, Listeria monocytogenes, Salmonella and norovirus pathogens are responsible for over 98% of these deaths.

  • Ranking between these five is difficult due to overlapping CrIs.

How might it impact on clinical practice in the foreseeable future?

  • This highlights the potential severity of Salmonella, L. monocytogenesC. perfringensCampylobacter and norovirus, particularly in comparison with other infectious intestinal diseases that have a food source.

Research – Germany – Infectious Disease Epidemiology Annual Report – 2020


Compared to the period before the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of cases of almost all notifiable infectious diseases reported in 2020 decreased substantially. The most notable reduction was observed for human to human communicable diseases.

There was also a large reduction in gastrointestinal diseases. This was especially pronounced for rotavirus gastroenteritis, shigellosis and norovirus gastroenteritis

Despite the large decrease in the number of cases the gastrointestinal diseases norovirus, gastroenteritis, Campylobacter enteritis and rotavirus gastroenteritis, these infectious diseases continue to remain among the most frequently notified.

Sequencing helped to identify several listeriosis outbreaks across federal states through foodborne outbreak investigations. By comparing the isolates from the affected individuals and from the contaminated food, the probable vehicle of the outbreak could be identified.

Full Report in German

Ukraine – Ukraine reports 50 gastrointestinal infection outbreaks in first seven months

Outbreak News Today

Ukraine health officials report since the beginning of this year and as of August 1, 604 people, including 447 children, have been affected by outbreaks of intestinal infections. A total of 50 outbreaks were registered.

In July 2021 alone, 137 people fell ill, including 98 children. A total of 12 outbreaks of infectious diseases were recorded :

  • 6 outbreaks of acute intestinal infections of unknown etiology, during which 71 people were sickened, including 54 children;
  • 3 outbreaks of salmonellosis , 34 people were sickened, including 15 children;
  • 2 outbreaks of rotavirus enteritis , 29 people were sickened, including 28 children;
  • one outbreak of viral hepatitis A , 3 people were sickened, including 1 child;
  • Epidemiological investigation and anti-epidemic measures are underway for 4 more outbreaks.

The largest number of outbreaks in July occurred in children’s health facilities and institutions with organized recreation for groups of children (33.3%) and in everyday life (25.0%). The remaining outbreaks occurred in children’s preschools (16.7%), catering establishments (16.7%) and in health care establishments (8.3%).

Research – Occurrence of Human Enteric Viruses in Shellfish along the Production and Distribution Chain in Sicily, Italy


Contamination of bivalve mollusks with human pathogenic viruses represents a recognized food safety risk. Thus, monitoring programs for shellfish quality along the entire food chain could help to finally preserve the health of consumers. The aim of the present study was to provide up-to-date data on the prevalence of enteric virus contamination along the shellfish production and distribution chain in Sicily. To this end, 162 batches of mollusks were collected between 2017 and 2019 from harvesting areas, depuration and dispatch centers (n = 63), restaurants (n = 6) and retail stores (n = 93) distributed all over the island. Samples were processed according to ISO 15216 standard method, and the presence of genogroup GI and GII norovirus (NoV), hepatitis A and E viruses (HAV, HEV), rotavirus and adenovirus was investigated by real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (real-time-RT PCR), nested (RT)-PCR and molecular genotyping. Our findings show that 5.56% of samples were contaminated with at least one NoV, HAV and/or HEV. Contaminated shellfish were sampled at production sites and retail stores and their origin was traced back to Spain and several municipalities in Italy. In conclusion, our study highlights the need to implement routine monitoring programs along the whole food chain as an effective measure to prevent foodborne transmission of enteric viruses. View Full-Text